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Through our purchases, we can make a positive difference for the people that make the shoes we wear every day and ensure they have fair wages and environmentally safe working conditions.
Within our footwear offering, we have been lucky to visit some of our factories like Luz Da Lua in Brazil which has its own on-site water recycling and plant-filled worker lounges. We have also seen factories choosing low emission glues for our products and ensuring ventilation is above standard for their workers like at Lorraci, also in Brazil. Spanish-Brazilian brand Caboclo has developed at a technique to shave off old tires bottoms destined for the landfill and instead make the soles of their handmade artisan shoes with them. OANON from Italy uses only vegetable dye and little or no glue to create their shoes and no synthetic fibres are used even in hidden places like toe and back reinforcements. We look for vegetable dyed leathers instead of chrome and tend to choose all-natural leathers instead of synthetics almost exclusively.
For shoe sustainability and environmental responsibility, we’ve broken it down to 3 main components we believe take precedence.
We continually seek out manufacturers that optimize energy and consumption efficiencies. We recognize that even a small adjustment to the way things are usually done can result in large environmental gains and cost savings for both espy and our clients further down the supply chain. We look for shoemakers and manufacturers that:
Every material used in the shoemaking process should have a genuine eco story and reason for its intended use. We look for shoemakers and manufacturers that use materials that are:
We’ve sought out manufacturers and shoe brands that produce products that last.
espy deals with reputable companies in Canada and all over the world trusting they ensure acceptable working environments for their factory workers. We cannot and have not audited all of the factories of these manufacturing facilities as this is simply not feasible. Owner/Proprietor Megan Szanik has visited many of the shoe factories in Brazil and Spain and can personally attest to their conditions. espy believes that the only way that consumers can be sure of social responsibility is to shop local, and buy Canadian.
We believe that when a client is interested in a brand, it is their responsibility to investigate, conduct the necessary research, and make their determination if they fit their personal criteria for being socially and environmentally responsible. The espy stylists can provide a wealth of knowledge about each brand but cannot possibly know everything about the brand’s supply chain, manufacturing process or environmental and social policies.
With that said, espy always deals with reputable companies and promote social responsibility in our business through our own policies and commitments to our community.